Dearth of child artistes hits stage plays

Small heroes: Child artiste Abhyudaya Datta dressed as ‘Bala Chandrudu’ at Nandi Natakotsavalu in Nellore on Saturday.

Small heroes: Child artiste Abhyudaya Datta dressed as ‘Bala Chandrudu’ at Nandi Natakotsavalu in Nellore on Saturday.  

Rajulapudi Srinivas

Parents keen on sending wards to dance, acting schools or TV programmes

Child artistes paid Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500 apart from transport, food

NELLORE: Many cultural troupes are facing acute shortage of child artistes, particularly girls, to act in dramas and stage plays.

Senior artistes feel that the field will suffer in future if young artistes don’t come forward.

There are enough young artistes in Surabhi troupe as many families sustain on this art form.

Artistes say that parents are more interested in sending their wards to dance, acting and direction schools and television programmes.


Only the artistes working in drama companies are introducing their wards to the same field.

Founder secretary of Soujanya Kala Mandali, Shaik Sadaq Vali, who is running the organisation for 40 years in Kadapa, said about 75 artistes were working in the troupe.

“But, the ‘kala mandali’ was facing shortage of child artistes, even though we offered free training and food. We are facing problem especially in mythological dramas. There is a severe shortage of teenaged girls,” he said.

Drama lineage

A child artiste, Abhyudaya Dattu, who donned the role of ‘Bala Chandrudu’ in ‘Tara Sashankam’ a mythological play in Nandi Natakotsavams, here on Saturday said, “my father N. Deva Dattu and brother Abhinaya Dattu are also good artistes and acted in several roles like Harischandrudu, Krishnudu, Nakshatrakudu and Pedda Chandrudu. As my father is an artiste for 20 years, there is a good encouragement for us. I am studying class VII and I like acting.”

Many cultural associations are hiring commercial child artistes and girls for acting in dramas.

The child artistes are paid Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500 besides transportation and food, says Vinnakota Ganga Shiva Kumar, founder secretary of Immadi Lingaiah Sarojini Memorials, Vijayawada.

“There are about 250 artistes in our troupe, but the number of children, more so girls, are less. In some cases the child artistes is forced to act in more than two roles in a play and it is becoming difficult for him/her to rush to the green room, change the make-up and come on to the stage in another role,” says Shiva Kumar.

Recommended for you